Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

The Hon. Phil Costa

NSW Minister for Water
NSW Minister for Corrective Services

Chaffey augmentation brought forward to secure Tamworth's future water supplies

Joint media release
9 February 2011

Joint funding announced today by the Gillard and Keneally Governments will fast-track construction on a $43.33 million augmentation and complete safety upgrade of Chaffey Dam.

NSW Minister for Water, Phil Costa, joined Federal Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Tony Burke, in Canberra today to announce that construction on the combined Chaffey Dam Augmentation Project and Safety Upgrade will commence in 2012.

"This is fantastic news for the thriving Tamworth community which continues to grow and prosper," said Mr Costa.

"This project will increase the capacity of Chaffey Dam from 62GL to 100GL and improve the dam's safety so it can withstand a Probable Maximum Flood, the highest rating set by the NSW Dams Safety Committee.

"Today's announcement guarantees future water supply for Tamworth and delivers the highest level of dam safety possible for downstream communities."

Mr Burke said that the Gillard Government's contribution of nearly $17 million allows the NSW Government to fast-track the project.

"Tamworth is one of the fastest growing regional centres in NSW," Mr Burke said.

"The Government's investment will support growth and the prosperity of the Tamworth region.

"Chaffey dam is an important project that will secure the future water supply for Tamworth.

"This project will deliver significant benefits for the Tamworth region, with a focus on sourcing local materials and workers, raising employment and increasing business activity," said Mr Burke.

NSW State Water will immediately begin work on the necessary environmental assessment and planning studies so that construction can start in 2012.

The augmentation and safety upgrade of Chaffey Dam is part of the NSW Government's $250 million dam safety upgrade program being undertaken by State Water.

This follows on from the Keneally Government's completed work at Blowering Dam, while construction continues at Chaffey Dam, Burrendong Dam, Keepit Dam and Wyangala Dam.

Mr Costa said he will also be writing to Tamworth Regional Council and local water users confirming the cost sharing agreements agreed by the Community Reference Panel Augmentation Sub-Committee in 2007.

Additional information

Construction works will commence in 2012 and take approximately two years to complete.

Chaffey Dam Augmentation:

  • Project Cost $26.95 million. Breakdown:
    • Gillard Government - $16.945 million
    • Keneally Government - $6.647 million
    • Tamworth Regional Council and Local Water Users - $3.358 million
  • Current capacity 62 billion litres
  • Capacity after augmentation 100 billion litres
  • Project involves raising the dam wall by approximately 8 metres

Safety Upgrade:

  • The Stage 1 Safety Upgrade, which includes construction a 35 metre auxiliary spillway is under construction and due for completion shortly
  • Stage 2 involves building a parapet wall on top the augmentation works at a cost of $16.38 million